The Pope-Eye View
A friend and I were talking today about events around the world and in our own country and how very little of it seems to affect the lives, thoughts, or actions of those we know and observe in our daily travels. It struck us that the Holy Father's view of all of this must be fairly distressing.
To wit, in one half of the world Catholics are being slaughtered physically by the hundreds or even the thousands every day. Just a daily reading of the news blurbs coming across the Missio app makes clear the sheer horror these people are facing as they are being identified, culled, and killed.
The Catholics in the other half of the world are being slaughtered spiritually. Consumerism, cynicism, self-hatred, incredibly poor catechesis, complacency, and countless other evils either have pushed Catholics out of the Church or have left them in the Church as cultural Catholics with no real attachment to the faith. While not as dramatic, so not the fodder of news editors, this slaughter is equally appalling.
The patriarchs and bishops in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan, and Pakistan and the half of the world experiencing physical annihilation have begged their brother bishops throughout the world for help with the slaughter of their flocks and the destruction of their dioceses. Two bishops from France went to the Levant to show solidarity with those suffering. In 2012, there were 5,104 bishops around the world and only two responded to the pleas of their brother bishops during these current struggles? This has to crush the heart of our Holy Father.
The bishops in the other half of the world appear to have neither the moral bearing to correctly identify the evils that are robbing them of their flocks nor the fortitude to battle those evils, if they were to correctly identify them. For example, the bishops of the world left the bishops of Oklahoma to their own devices in battling the first public satanic black mass. While some Catholic bloggers are completely missing the point as they smugly mock the organizers of this demonic event, because only 47 people attended it, it is precisely the fact that 47 people attended an advertised public black mass that was sanctioned by the Oklahoma City government that is of grave concern. This perspective that enabled these Catholic bloggers to so completely miss the relevance of the black mass in Oklahoma City seems to be the perspective of many, if not most, of the bishops in this other half of the world. As a result, these bishops are just as unable to keep their flocks from falling away as the bishops in Lebanon are unable to keep their flocks from being beheaded. This has to crush the heart of our Holy Father.
This situation is messed up every way you look at it. So, what do we do?
We use the liturgy, the sacraments, prayer, and fasting to get ourselves as close to God as we can. We study and reflect upon our faith as often as we can. Then we make of ourselves humble, knowledgeable, faithful, and sacrificing Catholics in service to Christ, His Church, and His Pontiff by serving those around us in the ways God reveals to us. We can do nothing about the national and global issues except pray and fast, but we can have an incredibly awesome effect on those around us through a very humble and very loving witness to Christ and His Love.
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17).